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Water, water, everywhere?


Fri, Mar 21st, 2008
Posted in Commentary

Recent newspaper and television stories have reported scientific concerns with the appearance of medications, both human and animal in our water supplies. These are only a tiny drop in the enormous bucket of the problem. I believe that in the future, water scarcity will be much more of a worldwide and U.S. crisis than the oil supply. People can't live more than hours without water, and they require water to stay clean and to raise food---these are basic life needs. We also use huge quantities of water for manufacturing processes.

It's hard to sell people on water scarcity in a state whose license plates boast "The Land of 10,000 Lakes." But are these lakes potable, or will they continue to be with our current practices? Will they be clean and free from chemical and natural contaminants?

World-wide, according to the United Nations, one-third of the world's population already lives in areas with water shortages, 1.1 billion people lack access to safe drinking water and 2.6 billion are without enough water for good sanitation. (solcombhouse.com/drought.htm)

Climate changes, which increase drought and desert areas, as well as melting glaciers that are a major source of most of the world's largest rivers, especially in Asia, are also contributing to the scarcity of water. The oceans are not presently an important source because our desalinization processes are costly and low in production. And even the oceans are increasingly polluted.

The world's population doubled just in the 20 th Century, while water use grew six times. Population is still growing rapidly. In the U.S. alone, our water withdrawal by 2025 will increase to between 20 and 40% of the total resources available (U.N.); continue that to 2100 and - our water use in the U.S. will be beyond a replaceable figure, not sustainable. By that time, two-thirds of Africa will be in stress or scarcity. A large part of southeast Asia will also be in severe need.

Small scale wars are already being fought over water, and conflicts in this country are increasingly bitter. On the Colorado River, e.g., communities and agriculture are quarreling over who gets how much water from the river, and for what purposes. The river is almost gone by the time it reaches the Gulf of California. The states and cities which bound the Great Lakes are attempting to complete an agreement that forbids these fresh water resources to be sold or shared with anyone else. And these lakes are not very .....
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And We Prayed

Fri, Mar 21st, 2008
Posted in Commentary

Many of us, of certain age and blessed or handicapped as long time Minnesotans, know religious diversity as Lutheran vs: Catholic. What the Lutherans had in numbers the Catholics battled with fully uniformed nuns and movies starring Bing Crosby. Eve ..... 
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Them that serve

Fri, Mar 7th, 2008
Posted in Commentary

It must be difficult to be an elected government official. They must be responsive and accountable to various constituencies including themselves. These include the people whom they represent, which also includes people from their state or district ..... 
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Death by a thousand catastrophes

Fri, Mar 7th, 2008
Posted in Commentary

One day in the not so distant future, the Discovery Channel will air a documentary detailing the life and death of the Conservative Movement, that all-white tribe of bible-thumping, war-mongering, rich folk, who, for a brief period in American histo ..... 
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My forbidden fruits (and vegetables)

Fri, Mar 7th, 2008
Posted in Commentary

Rushford, Minn. - If you've stood in line at a farmers' market recently, you know that the local food movement is thriving, to the point that small farmers are having a tough time keeping up with the demand.

But consumers who would like to b ..... 
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Speaking out: The Muni is a win for all of us

Fri, Feb 29th, 2008
Posted in Commentary

It is a fact that a resolution to rebuild the Rushford Municipal Liquor Store (the Muni) with both on and off sale has been brought up for vote before and after change of council members and passed both times. There remains a small group (mostly bus ..... 
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What happened to the R word?

Fri, Feb 29th, 2008
Posted in Commentary

What happened to the R word? You know, that old fashioned word called Regulation. Government regulation to be specific. With the sub-prime mortgage crisis and it's shady lenders about to put us into a recession for the second time in 20 years, isn't ..... 
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The ugly stain of torture

Fri, Feb 29th, 2008
Posted in Commentary

Morris Davis, a bird colonel in the Air Force, and until October the chief prosecutor in Guantanamo Cuba, related the story of Tom Ahern in the New York Times ten days ago. According to Davis, Ahern was the Tehran station chief during the Iran hosta ..... 
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Is it time to change how we campaign for President?

Fri, Feb 22nd, 2008
Posted in Commentary

Eight months until November 4th! Can we bear it?

How many of us are honestly sick of political ads, phone calls, polls, attacks, claims, and sound bites?

Maybe it is time to consider putting some limits on how we campaign for preside ..... 
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